Colleges Take Different Approaches to Tracking COVID-19 as Students Return to Campus

UNC-Chapel Hill recently launched a COVID-19 dashboard to report tests and cases. But critics fear it won’t be able to prevent an outbreak

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There is no existing standard of reporting coronavirus cases or deaths on campuses, nor is that information being publicly tracked on a national scale, NBC News reports. A New York Times survey revealed at least 6,600 cases tied to roughly 270 colleges.

Universities have taken various approaches to sharing coronavirus updates with students and faculty.

Some schools, such as the University of Wisconsin—Madison, plan to launch their own COVID-19 dashboards to raise the curtain on operational decisions. Colleges elsewhere are employing different methods, such as West Virginia University publishing daily test results collected across its university system.

But others, such as Arizona State University, refuse to publish any campus-wide data. Some cite privacy concerns, which forces students and faculty to rely on a state’s publicly available zip code and county COVID-19 data.

A number of schools are also using coronavirus symptom-tracking apps to screen large groups of people.

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